Small Sat Symposium 2018

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Small satellites have gained popularity because of their miniature size and their multitude of data acquisition techniques. With a current market value close to $9 billion in manufacturing as well as an average growth of over 12%, the Small Satellite industry is one of the fastest growing and lucrative sectors of technology.

The Small Sat Symposium event is held annually at the heart of Silicon Valley in Mountain View, CA. Crystal Instruments had the privilege of exhibiting this year along with Sentek Dynamics, our sister company. As it was each year before, the event was held at the Computer History Museum, a fascinating location showcasing the world's largest collection of artifacts related to the history of computing, including hardware, software, documents, ephemera, photographs and moving images.

This year we demonstrated Sentek Dynamics’ Mini “Combo” table-top shaker along with our entry level Spider-81B controller, which received numerous commendations for its total package size, portability, ease-of-use and affordability. Also displayed this year was the new handheld CoCo-80X featuring a touchscreen alongside the high channel Spider-80Xi. Both the CoCo-80X and Spider-80Xi are perfect instruments for the satellite industry; the handheld form allows engineers to take measurements, recordings, and analysis directly in the field while the Spider-80Xi performs as the ideal high channel lab analytics tool. Finally, Modal Analysis was introduced with the Spider-20 portable recorder and analyzer.

The Symposium is one the most prominent in the small satellite industry and the attendance was the highest yet. Session topics focused on the overall market, law and policy in aerospace, technological obstacles and solutions, including an opportunity for women in aerospace to network, a one-of a kind event. Another highlight was the SpaceX launch; which completely interrupted all other operations to allow everyone in attendance to watch the launch together.

Crystal Instruments’ broad range of products allows it to be a provider for many different emerging industries in addition to small satellites, with aerospace certainly being the most obscure with additional applications like asteroid mining, moon exploration and Mars colonization to name a few. For more information on Crystal Instruments products and the array of relevant applications, please visit or email